Global Policy Forum

UN Council Seeks Study of Iraqi Situation


By Colum Lynch

Washington Post
June 9, 2000

The U.N. Security Council has asked Secretary General Kofi Annan to appoint a panel of independent experts to conduct the first comprehensive study of Iraq's humanitarian situation after 10 years of international economic sanctions.

The report is to be published on Nov. 26, not long after the U.S. presidential election. It is likely to provide fodder for critics of the U.S.-backed sanctions and could lead to a serious challenge of American policy during the presidential transition. The United States reluctantly supported the proposal after Britain, its most important ally on Iraq policy, co-sponsored a French resolution calling for the report.

U.S. officials predicted the study would show that the Iraqi regime has been spending huge sums on luxuries for high-ranking officials while deliberately blocking the distribution of food and medicine to ordinary citizens. France, Russia and China, however, are expected to cite the report as grounds for easing the sanctions and to demand a halt to the U.S. and British bombing of Iraq.

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